Moderate hike among waterfalls and mining ruins to surpass the treeline and reach alpine lakes in a high valley.

Statistics

Analysing terrain data

Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extreme exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Medium ExposureThe trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Description

The Mohawk Lakes sit high in alpine valley beneath craggy mountain slopes, and surrounded by wildflower meadows above treeline.

Reach them with a hike of roughly 6.5 miles round trip from Spruce Creek Road.

Spruce Creek Trailhead is the recommended starting point, though if the gate is open 4WD vehicles may be able to continue 1.1 miles to a higher trailhead near a water utility station.

From the lower trailhead, find the trail just left of the road.

From the higher lot, cross the dam and find the trail in the trees to the right.

Either way, you’ll enjoy a gently inclined stroll among dense spruce-fir forest along Spruce Creek.

Shortly after the higher trailhead, the trail steepens significantly as it climbs above 11,000 feet. Follow signs toward Mayflower Lakes.

The path becomes braided as social trails lead off in different directions.

Continental Falls and an old miner’s cabin are two bonus destinations you can find on spur trails.

Continue heading generally up the valley to find Lower Mohawk Lake (11,810 ft).

This is a beautiful blue lake from which you can see Mt.

Helen rising above.

Views are nice but somewhat limited because you are still below treeline.

Continue along the shoreline then follow the trail for a final half mile of steep uphill to reach the upper Mohawk Lake, which is just above the treeline and even prettier.

From here you can see clearly up and down the valley, hemmed by steep walls on either side.

More lakes sit even higher in this valley, but the official trail ends at Mohawk. Sources: http://www.protrails.com/trail/368/summit-county-eagle-county-clear-creek-county-mohawk-lake-and-lower-mohawk-lake